Jefferson Incorporation


The town of Jefferson, was named after Thomas Jefferson


Approved, March 20, 1848

An Act to incorporate the town of Jefferson. 

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That all the free white inhabitants thereof, shall be a body corporate, by the name of the mayor and aldermen of the town of Jefferson, and by that name, they and their successors, shall be known in law, and be capable of suing and of being sued, in all courts of this State, and shall have a common seal, and by the same, shall be capable of holding and conveying property, real and personal, for the use of said corporation. 

Sec. 2. That there shall be a mayor and five aldermen of said town, and as many subordinate officers, elected by the citizens of said town as may be necessary to enforce all the laws and regulations of said corporation, which said officers shall, before they enter upon the discharge of the duties assigned them, shall take and sub- scribe an oath before some officer authorized to administer the same, that they will faithfully and promptly discharge, all the du- ties assigned them, under this act and the laws regulating the same. 

Sec. 3. That the first mayor and aldermen, shall be elected by a vote by ballot of all citizens of said town, who have resided with- in the corporate limits thereof, for the term of three months, which election shall be held, by the Chief Justice of the county of Cass, after giving ten days notice, in three public places in said town, and said election shall be conducted in accordance with the laws regulating elections of county officers, held annually, on the first Monday in January, and when so elected and qualified as aforesaid, they shall have full power, and authority to make and pass such ordinances as they shall deem necessary to maintain the cleanliness and salubrity of said town; to secure the safety and convenience of passing in the streets and squares, ways, lanes and other public streets and 

Laws of the State of Texas. 417 alleys; to fix the squaring and to prevent any encroachment or other undertaking on the said streets; to determine the completion and dimensions, the maintenance and repair of pavements in said streets, at the cost of the proprietors of houses, lands or neighboring lots, to fix the place or places of landing and anchoring for all water crafts, in the stream adjacent thereto; to establish an active system of inspection over the slaves of said town; and those employed in any water craft, that may be at such landing; to establish a town guard or patrols; to provide for the lighting the streets; to determine in what part of the town, wooden chimneys shall be allowed to be erected; to prevent gunpowder being stored within the town and suburbs, in such quantity as to endanger the public safety; to determine on the means to be resorted to extinguish conflagration and to prevent the same; to regulate the service of per-sons employed in working fire engines; to permit or forbid all public amusements; whenever the preservation of order, tranquility or public safety may require it; to establish market places; to erect all public buildings; to determine the mode of inspection, for all marketable commodities, sold publicly in said town; to regulate every thing which relates to bakers, butchers, tavern keepers, and all establishments in which liquors or food of any kind are sold, or per-sons keeping any public house whatever; to regulate the prices of draymen and teamsters, water carriers, to erect bridges whenever the public convenience of the citizens of said town may require it, and to make all other regulations which may contribute to the better administration of the affairs of said corporation, as well as for the maintenance of the tranquility and safety of the same, provided, that. no ordinance of said corporation shall be enforced, that is contrary to any law of this State, or of the United States: and all official acts of said corporation shall be sanctioned by a majority of all the members of the same, except the levying of a tax, which shall require the votes of two-thirds of the members of said corporation. 

Sec. 4. That so soon as the first mayor and aldermen are qualified under the provisions of this act, they shall proceed to lay off the corporate limits of said town, to include the lands covered by the head right certificates of Allen Urquahart and Stephen Smith, and divide the same into five wards, in each of which, in all subsequent elections, there shall be elected, one alderman, by a majority of all the voters living in said ward; and that said mayor shall be elected, by a majority of all the Laws of the State of Texas. votes of said corporation, and said mayor and aldermen, shall elect from among their number, a Recorder and Treasurer, and from among the citizens of said town, an officer to be styled the town constable, who shall perform such duties as may be assigned him by said mayor and aldermen. The said mayor and aldermen shall keep a record of all their official acts, which shall be at all times open for inspection for the public, and pass all by-laws for their own government. 

Sec. 5. That no ordinance shall take effect or be enforced until the same has been published for five days, in said corporation, and all sums of money collected, from any source whatever, shall be collected by the town constable, or Treasurer in such manner, and under such regulations as may be made by the mayor and alder-men; and no tax shall ever be imposed at a higher rate than the State tax assessed upon the same property, nor any person be fined for the violation of any ordinance, more than the sum of fifty dollars. 

Sec. 6. That all his expenses and official acts of the said corporation, shall be published once, every six months, except the ordinances and by laws, which shall be published forthwith, after their enactment; and that all resident citizens of said town, who pay taxes to said corporation, shall not be required to work on roads and highways. 

Sec. 7. That the mayor of said corporation, shall have the same jurisdiction over offences committed against the by-laws and ordinances of said corporation, as justices of the peace; and that a town constable shall have the same power and authority as a constable, in enforcing the laws of the State, and shall be governed in all their official acts, by the laws of the State, governing justices of the peace and constables, and that all taxes assessed by said corporation, shall be collected under the laws regulating the collection of taxes for the State. Approved, March 20, 1848. (424)


Source: Gammel's The Laws of Texas